Daily Egyptian

SIU increases undergraduate housing despite enrollment drop

The Saluki Express bus makes a stop Feb. 2, 2016, at Evergreen Terrace. (Daily Egyptian file photo)

The Saluki Express bus makes a stop Feb. 2, 2016, at Evergreen Terrace. (Daily Egyptian file photo)

By Tierra Carpenter, @TierraMC_

Despite undergraduate enrollment decreasing, University Housing is planning to repurpose more buildings in Evergreen Terrace for undergrads starting next fall.

Jon Shaffer, director of University Housing, said his staff has decided to change two buildings from graduate housing to undergraduate housing because undergraduate students are interested in apartments similar to Wall & Grand and Elizabeth Apartments.

“[For these apartments] the billing goes right on your bursar bill,” Shaffer said. “Obviously it’s extremely convenient with the location. The bus system runs out through there, people can park right at their door and they get to take advantage of the on-campus amenities that aren’t necessarily available at off-campus properties.” 

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Some amenities listed on the University Housing website include furniture, cable and internet. Beth Scally, associate director of graduate and family services at University Housing, said her department included furniture to make the apartments similar to Wall & Grand Apartments. 

Glenn Stine, associate director of facilities at University Housing, said the university was able to save money on carpet renovations and furniture by using extra furniture from Wall & Grand and left over carpet squares from previous housing projects. 

Despite the new additions and renovations, reviews have been mixed since complex opened to undergraduates last fall.

Nicholas Brown, a sophomore from Aledo studying engineering, moved into Evergreen Terrace this semester because of the low cost.

He was looking at houses and other apartment complexes before making his choice.

“If you want to look at any of the apartments you’re going to pay at least double. And if you look at houses, a decent house that you’re not going to fix up, you’re looking at paying that and a half without utilities,” he said. “I’m paying technically $450 a month — that’s including utilities and everything, so I couldn’t beat that anywhere else.”

Students pay $21 for utilities, according to the department’s website. 

There is almost a $200 difference between the cost of rent per month for a two-bedroom apartment in Evergreen Terrace and other Carbondale apartment complexes such as The Reserves and The Pointe, according to price listings on the complexes’ websites.

Brown said he likes living in Evergreen Terrace because of the community.

“If you are a little loud, they just text you, no big deal,” Brown said. “Or if somebody else is a little loud, which I really have not had that problem but my roommate has, then you just text them and then that’s it. There’s no quiet for a little bit and turn it back on.”

The 27-year-old said he likes the option of being on campus, then going home to a different, more mature environment.

Brown said everything he needs is in a close proximity such as a grocery store and laundromat.

But the distance to other parts of Carbondale is difficult for at least one other resident.

Peter Kavouris, a junior from Chicago studying architecture, has resided in Evergreen Terrace since fall of 2015 and said the location isn’t convenient. The apartments are about a two-mile walk to the Student Center.

He said he was attracted to the apartments because they are fully furnished and inexpensive. 

“The Evergreen Terrace apartments are not on the same level that Wall & Grand is,” Kavouris said. “Wall & Grand is really nice. It’s pretty cool. It’s close to campus. Evergreen Terrace is not any of those things.”

Kavouris said he has had quite a few issues since moving in including a broken toilet, spiders, bedbugs and mice.

In response to the complaints, Crystal Bouhl, associate director of marketing at University Housing wrote in an email: “We routinely treat for pests as a preventative measure but also rely on students to report any issues. Any pest or maintenance issues should be reported to the area office.”

Tierra Carpenter can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3325.

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